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Steve Hochstadt

Steve Hochstadt is a writer and an emeritus professor of history at Illinois College.



  • Where Is Our Country Now?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Lots of electoral commentators are comparing this “blue wave” with past waves, often to prove that their side did extraordinarily well. It’s more important to think about the future. Will the overwhelming liberalism of young Americans gradually replace the self-interested conservatism of my generation? Will women keep moving in a liberal direction? Will they take the men around them along?


  • The Problem Is Not Civility

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Gullible Trump have been bombarded by Republican attacks on the morality and the patriotism of liberals for decades. Their fears have been stoked by conservative lies about liberals since the days of Sen. McCarthy. A FOX producer called it “riling up the crazies”. Now a pathetic march of frightened Central Americans has been turned into an invasion of disease-carrying terrorists.


  • A Man For All Men?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Suppose you just met a man at a party, in a bar, at a meeting, or at a ball game. He talked only about himself. He told amazing stories about how wonderful and rich he was. He said he was a genius, one of the most successful businessmen in the world, and superior at everything he does. He commented on how attractive or unattractive the women around him were and bragged about his sexual exploits. He laughed about getting away with groping women he encountered. He made fun of the intelligence of well-known people. He made fun of the handicapped. Although flabby and overweight, he puffed up his chest praising men who were “tough” like him.


  • Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    A privileged segment of American society, white and male, has systematically victimized underprivileged Americans, female and not white, and walked away. The members of the Bronx district attorney’s office, who did not provide “potentially exculpatory evidence” to McKee’s defense, walked away long ago. All of the prominent men who have suddenly found themselves held responsible for their treatment of women, from which they walked away for years, are outraged by their new plight.

  • Only The Best People

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Donald Trump constantly repeated that he would bring in “the best people” or “the best people in the world”. He said, “I know the best people.”  “You’ve got to pick the best people.” He boasted about how good he was at finding the best. Because he rarely mentioned anyone in particular, we never found out what he meant by “best”. Now we know a lot more.


  • Science is Complicated, but True

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Science is increasingly complicated, and that provides an opening for political ideologues to question particular scientific conclusions and thus the whole scientific enterprise.

  • I Love Private Property

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Public property is a political issue: Democrats want to maintain and expand public services and Republicans want to turn public resources and services into private property.


  • Those Crazy Republicans

    by Steve Hochstadt

    There are some wild candidates out on the trail this election season. I can’t remember a time when so many unusual candidates for political office made headlines through what they say and do.


  • How to Kill the Free Press

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Donald Trump’s war against the free press is often compared to the methods of Hitler, Mussolini, and other dictatorial rulers. But I think these comparisons are misleading. Instead Trump has used another model for reducing the ability of our free press to describe and criticize his government.

  • Sports, Sportsmanship and Life

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The physical skills of individual players and the intuitive coordination of team play at the World Cup were spectacular to watch. But I was disappointed in an important aspect of these matches. Fighting for control of the ball always involved pushing, grabbing arms and pulling on jerseys, all strictly forbidden by the rules. Everybody appeared to consider this behavior a normal part of the game.

  • Immigrants, Refugees and Racism

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Donald Trump began his campaign by insulting Mexicans and promising to ban Muslims. He is leading the reversal of American openness and a return to our earlier racially-based immigration. The pulling apart of asylum-seeking families is only the most inhumane aspect of this repudiation of what has made America great. We are retreating to the worst aspects of our history.


  • How to Uncover Secrets

    by Steve Hochstadt

    There are big secrets in America, which we ought to know about, for our own good. The most relentless, most objective, most principled, and most experienced investigator of America’s secrets is our free press.


  • My Fellow Americans!

    by Steve Hochstadt

    We can’t magically make our country healthy again in November, but we can reverse disastrous recent trends. We can make America great again, not by being an ugly neighbor, not by trashing other nations, not by just looking out for ourselves, but by electing great Americans and encouraging them to represent the best in us.

  • Why Vote Against Equal Rights For Women?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Republicans opposed to the ERA talked about toilets in the 1970s, and talk about abortion today. Some Illinois Republican arguments against the ERA are lies, such as Rep. Peter Breen’s assertion: “The only alleged benefit ... that I’ve heard about ... is that it will expand taxpayer funding of abortions. They have no other thing they want to do.” Or the claim by the Illinois Family Institute that it’s about “eradicating sex as a legitimate characteristic on which to base reasonable distinctions.” Denial of equal rights is not “reasonable”.


  • Elections Are the Best Surveys

    by Steve Hochstadt

    What will happen when Democratic women, white and non-white, compete against Republican white men in November? Will these newly diverse candidates mobilize new voters? Are independent voters leaning more toward minority and female candidates like Democrats or away from them like Republicans?


  • Why Do Some People Hate College?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Decades of conservative attacks on higher education have succeeded in creating an image of the college teacher as radical, elitist, unpatriotic, and intellectually dictatorial. The students who marched in their robes across the Illinois College campus Sunday, and tens of thousands of students marching across America, know better.

  • People Keep Asking “Why Trump?”

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Mutz supports this explanation for Trump’s victory, one that also has been much discussed since the election: groups of Americans with traditionally high status felt threatened and voted for the candidate who seemed to support their continued dominance. White Christian men who were concerned about social changes in recent decades gravitated to Trump, whose rhetoric and behavior consistently prioritized whiteness, maleness, and Christian belief.


  • The Extremism of NRA Politics

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Below the surface of public statements about gun legislation, the NRA sells its members a disturbing critique of our society. Under the title “Standing Guard | Colleges Spread Anti-Gun Sentiment” on the NRA website, LaPierre says this about American higher education. “American freedom faces no greater threat than from our academic institutions, where the most basic fundamental principles upon which our nation was founded are aggressively attacked by extreme socialists posing as honest professors,” etc.

  • Science Isn’t Always Scientific

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The name Asperger is widely known as a syndrome related to autism. But Asperger played a despicable role in a despicable system, participating in murdering children whom he deemed unworthy of life. He deserves no international honor. His name should not be used without an understanding of his deeds.


  • We Are Killing Ourselves

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Since Europeans arrived in America, about one-third of plant and animal species in the Western hemisphere have become extinct. Another quarter are at risk of extinction.